As I sat in church today, the first Sunday of this new year, observing the installation of new officers, I was drawn to the moniker they held: servant leader. Servant leader is the title given to those members of our congregation who are charged with setting the direction of auxiliary groups and committees, established to serve the congregants. This, of course, is done with focus on God and the evangelical calling for which the church is responsible.
Servant. That’s an interesting word and far beyond that, it’s a very powerful one. Think for a moment about the many people in society who have been appointed, elected, or risen to certain positions where the assumption is that they are to be servants. Politicians are elected to office with the promise they will work hard to serve the needs of their constituents. Doctors, nurses and all members of the medical community are in their roles with the clearly defined responsibility to meet the needs of their patients. Haven’t you visited a commercial establishment or made a phone call to a service center and received a warm greeting, “How may I serve you?”
The concept of, and the receipt of service, is something that makes all our hearts feel warm. It gives us the feeling that someone is interested in our welfare; that they aren’t in their position to benefit themselves first and us, if time permits.
One thing I told myself before I put the first word in a blog is that I would try to focus on the positive things of life on these pages. Unfortunately, the gray at the least and the dark at the most must be highlighted often, in order to see clearly what the “should-be” looks like. For example, do you feel at this moment that your government (of the United States) is concerned with providing you the best service? Don’t you honestly feel that the politicians, elected by you to serve you, should sort out a way to navigate pass the roadblock they can’t get around. Shouldn’t they have service to you in mind first when they are preparing to deal with any complex issue? Shouldn’t the health insurance industry be working hard to develop a model that would allow executives and stockholders opportunities to make decent profits, without financially scalping consumers? Shouldn’t parents view themselves as servants of their family units and not be so anxious to seek something more pleasurably self-serving?
Getting back to my cerebrally-charged moment while sitting in church, after the installation of officers, our pastor spoke on the issue of service. His presentation showed Jesus as a servant. He was the perfect example of what a servant should look like. Shortly before He went to the cross to make the ultimate sacrifice, He took a towel and a basin of water and washed the disciples’ feet. (John Chapter 13, verses 3-14 provide the context for this event.) God, in the person of Jesus Christ, demonstrated this attitude of service during His time on Earth. You, though you may not be a Christian, probably feel a calling to serve others for the betterment of society in general.
Is service better than being served? Ponder that for a little while and think how much better things would be for us all if we thought of others first, before ourselves.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.